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The Bill Simmons Podcast

Author: The Ringer & Bill Simmons

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HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons hosts the most downloaded sports podcast of all time, with a rotating crew of celebrities, athletes, and media staples, as well as mainstays like Cousin Sal, Joe House, and a slew of other friends and family members who always happen to be suspiciously available.

671 Episodes
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The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the recent protests, both nationwide and in L.A., after the death of George Floyd while in police custody (1:45). They then speculate on salvaging the 2019-20 NBA season (41:45) and revisit the 2005 NBA draft and discuss some of its subplots, draft comedy, and NBA legends before redrafting the top 14 lottery picks (1:04:05).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons answers a bunch of listener-submitted mailbag questions (2:10), before he is joined by author Michael Lewis to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of youth sports being cancelled, what a return to sports arenas may look like, the most interesting coaches, and more (33:55). Lastly, Bill talks with actor and director Jason Bateman about Season 3 of his Netflix series 'Ozark' as well as the HBO miniseries 'The Outsider,' his evolution as a director, reactions to 'The Last Dance,' the '30 for 30' documentary series, quarantine life, bringing back baseball movies and sitcoms, and more (1:39:20).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Kevin O'Connor to discuss the proposed World Cup–like group stage format for the NBA playoffs, potentially eliminating conferences, how to maintain the integrity of the NBA regular season, exciting matchups, and more (2:15). Then Bill and Joe House revisit the 2004 NBA draft and discuss some of the subplots, draft comedy, and NBA legends from that draft class (40:25) before redrafting the top 14 lottery picks (55:00).
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss The Match 2; encouraging rumors about the return of the NBA and possible playoff scenarios; ex-athlete commentator bias; Horace Grant's comments following ‘The Last Dance’; the spectrum of “forgivable athletes”; one of Bill’s favorite sports documentaries, ‘When We Were Kings’; and more!
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Joe House and Jason Concepcion to run though Jason's list of the biggest lies told in the ESPN documentary series 'The Last Dance' (2:20). Then, Bill talks with NBA champions Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes about the inception of the 'All the Smoke' podcast, their thoughts on the NBA playoffs prior to the league shutdown, Matt's time at the Clippers during the Donald Sterling era, the complex chemistry of the "Lob City" Clippers, the "We Believe" Warriors, Tim Duncan vs. Kobe Bryant, the best teams they've ever played on, and much more (25:55)!
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by the Deadman himself, the Undertaker (a.k.a. Mark Calaway), to discuss the WWE’s documentary series ‘Undertaker: The Last Ride,’ as well as stories from more than 30 years of professional wrestling, his favorite 'WrestleMania,' his relationship with Vince McMahon, recovering from major injuries, learning from pro-wrestling legends, developing his character, the best crowds, and much more.
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the final two episodes in the ESPN documentary series 'The Last Dance' (2:25) before Ryen and "Optimistic Bill" talk about the NBA potentially inching toward a return, as well as the murky future around the start of the MLB season (49:00). They share TV programming advice for content-starved networks (1:26:30) before revisiting Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz and Michael Jordan's sixth and final championship (1:38:40).
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons reads an excerpt from 'The Book of Basketball' on what makes Michael Jordan the GOAT (3:00), before he is joined by Northwestern University's director of sports journalism, J.A. Adande, to discuss covering the Jordan-era Bulls, thoughts about the ESPN documentary 'The Last Dance,' Michael Jordan’s relationship with Kobe Bryant, and more (36:48). Then Bill talks with The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion about the season finale of ‘Survivor’ (1:11:05). Finally Bill talks with actor, comedian, and writer Nick Kroll about self-quarantining, Season 4 of his Netflix show, ‘Big Mouth,’ a ‘Big Mouth’ spinoff show called ‘Human Resources,’ the flexibility of making animated shows remotely, and much more (1:34:55).
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons shares his thoughts about Adam Silver’s meeting with the board of governors which seems to garnered "positive feelings" (2:28), before he's joined by ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser to discuss Tony’s mortal enemy, modern technology, continuing 'Pardon the Interruption' during the pandemic, and all-time captivating athletes including Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Bobby Orr, Secretariat, and more (16:53). Then Bill talks with The Ringer’s Van Lathan about his rewatch of HBO’s ‘The Wire,' quarantine thoughts, COVID-19’s impact on Louisiana, ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance,’ and more (1:04:35).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to talk about Episodes 7 and 8 of the ESPN documentary series 'The Last Dance' (2:30) before discussing UFC 249 (41:40) and Adam Silver's call with NBA players regarding the possible return of an NBA season (1:04:40). Finally they revisit the 1997 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, where Michael Jordan would win his fifth NBA title (1:25:07).
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons shares an essay he wrote about Michael Jordan’s retirement (4:25) before he is joined by author Chuck Klosterman to discuss the 40th season of ‘Survivor,’ generational gaps between athletes, nostalgic basketball behavior, and the 1992 dream team, as well as quarantine life, the historical weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more (24:45)
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Joe House to compare the different Chicago Bulls rosters of the 1990s, as well as some of the other all-time NBA teams (2:55), before revisiting Game 2 of the 1996 Eastern Conference finals, between the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic (46:40).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss episodes 5 and 6 of ESPN's docuseries 'The Last Dance' (2:40), getting restless in quarantine, all-time NBA teams, the "time-traveling athletes" argument, and more (40:55). Finally they revisit Game 6 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic (1:29:28).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Peter Schrager of NFL Network and Fox Sports to discuss the uncertainty around the start of the 2020 NFL season, the Patriots' QB situation, NFL draft highlights, and more (5:07), before talking with the Ringer's Kevin O'Connor about the NBA "hiatus," how the coronavirus pandemic may affect next season's salary cap, as well as the NBA draft, the 1986 Celtics vs. the 1996 Bulls, and much more (40:00). Finally Bill talks with his old friends Joe House and JackO about life in quarantine, the Pentagon's recently released UFO footage, HBO's 1990s documentary programming, early 2000s Red Sox–Yankees rivalry and more (1:15:10).
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss Episodes 3 and 4 of ESPN’s documentary series ‘The Last Dance’ (2:53) before talking about the NFL draft (32:00), the logistics behind bringing back the NBA (1:03:25), and Game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns (1:29:30).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Cousin Sal to recap the first round of the NFL draft, including Tua Tagovailoa sliding to the fifth, the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love, the Cowboys adding another WR in CeeDee Lamb, Goodell embracing the boos, and much more (2:03). Then Bill talks with author Chuck Klosterman about Episodes 1 and 2 of the ESPN documentary series 'The Last Dance' (55:30).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the first two episodes of the ESPN documentary 'The Last Dance' (2:50) before getting into the upcoming NFL draft, top QB draft prospects, Bill's and Ryen’s all-time top-five NFL players, and more (37:50). Finally they revisit Game 4 of the 1993 Eastern Conference finals between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks (1:40:20).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Casey Wasserman to discuss safe and effective ways to bring back pro sports including golf, baseball, and basketball, and the Olympics (2:50). Then Bill talks with the host of 'The Bachelor' universe, Chris Harrison, about 'The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart,' how COVID-19 could affect The Bachelor universe, and more (31:15). Finally Bill talks with Mike Tollin, producer of the upcoming Michael Jordan documentary series, 'The Last Dance,' about making the series (1:13:55).
The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss bringing back sports and strategies for navigating the workplace. Then they sift through the worst NBA GM jobs. Finally, they revisit Game 3 of the 1991 Finals, Bulls vs. Lakers.
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Peter Schrager of NFL Network and Fox Sports to discuss Brady on the Bucs, the Patriots without Brady, 2020 draft predictions, and more (3:20). Next he talks to film producer Jason Blum about "premium video on demand" and its possible effects on the film industry, as well as horror movies, producing films during quarantine, and more (47:05). Finally Bill is joined by his buddies JackO and Joe House to discuss quarantine pastimes, the 1986 Masters, the 2020 presidential election, and much more (1:20:55).
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Comments (268)

Aaron Hartje

It's always nice when someone doing a sports podcast reveals that they know absolutely nothing about the economics of college sports. All they really seem to know is that they want the players to be paid and that college football drives the train. And their simplistic framing of those issues is the foundation upon which they base all of their other assertions. But unless you acknowledge there are nuances to these issues then everything that springs forth afterward just ends up further and further from reality.

May 27th
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Aaron Hartje

It's hilarious how it is so obvious that Bill knows his beloved NBA is a shitshow so he tries to cut down all the other sports – in this case college football or NFL football - in order to try to make it seem as though the NBA is the only one making any sense and everyone else is just rushing headlong into disaster.

May 27th
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Maurice Sawyers

Bill Simmons SUCKS

May 24th
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Aaron Hartje

I am going to have to call b******* on their analysis of broadcast teams. While I believe there is plenty of merit to their assertion that people watching NBA games want to hear a star or two in that booth, no one who watches NFL football gives two s**** whether somebody in that booth is a former star player. Don't get me wrong. It's a great when a capable former athlete can fill that role, but matchups make an NFL broadcast - not the broadcast team. As long as you have a capable crew in the booth no one cares who it is. It's only when that crew is bad that anyone takes notice.

May 20th
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Aaron Hartje

Bill's idea about having 25 incredibly wealthy people be able to buy huge multimillion-dollar NBA playoff packages is brilliant. There's nothing that improves the image of a league more than to shout from the rooftops that the only people it is interested in allowing to attend its events must be extremely rich.

May 20th
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Carson Sinner

The guest on this pod is struggling so much to find words and complete thoughts. It's hard to hear him say eh eh eh eh ya yaaa ya knowwww. So much filler.

May 13th
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Aaron Hartje

It's so weird that a guy like Bill, who seems to believe he's pretty studied up on the things he needs to know, seems kind of ignorant when it comes to the Coronavirus, and it's a little ironic because he's kind of obsessing on it. I've also noticed that that group of talking heads that is primarily focused on the NBA is the most pessimistic about weather sports like college football will be starting. more campuses everyday are announcing that they are going to be opening up for the fall term. There's not really a great deal of doubt that in three or four months we will have college football. You almost get the feeling that they are seeing the writing on the wall that the NBA - which in some ways should have the easiest return of any of the major team sports - is so far from having it s*** together that it may never resume its season and that they kind of hope for the same for those other sports so that the people who cover THOSE have to suffer as they are. Then again, this is the same group of guys that believes that the NBA is popular and either refuses to look at the ratings, ignores them, or recognizes them and doesn't compare them to the ratings during the Jordan era.

May 11th
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Nathan Baker

Holy fuck, Bill, I love you but stop talking about coronavirus. how many times can you have the same convo on a sports pod? For the love of God, I come to you for a distraction.

May 9th
Reply (1)

Nathan Baker

Jordan didn't end Drexler, Drexler had nagging injuries in 1993 and only played 49 games.

May 5th
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dcathey99

amazing playoff concept on my ig page @dcathey99 please check it out

Apr 27th
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Aaron Hartje

1)It is absolutely not true that before 9/11 you could walk into any office building and go up to any floor with a big ass bag and not be checked. 2) The opinions on accelerating the time frame for getting SPORTS up and running again was when that ridiculous 1 million-person mortality estimate was reduced down to around 60,000 about a week and a half ago. 3) It's a myth that Las Vegas is shut down. You can go online right now and get hotel rooms on the strip. 4) How in the hell, in realistic terms, would the cancellation of the college football season "disproportionately affect female athletes"? There is no reason to believe that the benefits cited by the guest cannot be attained any other way or that they necessarily have been part of women's athletics to any great extent to begin with. The numbers don't even include football when it comes to the equation of how many male athletes there are in relation to female athletes. Many more males would be affected in terms of pure numbers than there would be a females. This is all aside from the number of male sports that were eliminated to be able to create some of these women sports. A considerable number of universities lost baseball and wrestling teams out of mandated equity that was part of Title IX. If, indeed, female athletes would be disproportionately affected, maybe that's actually more of a market correction than anything else.

Apr 17th
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Aaron Hartje

Regarding defense as Russillo did at the end of the podcast, it wasn't that players back in the 80s or 90s were always being decapitated if they drove to the basket. It was that the threat existed that they could be decapitated. That is no longer part of the NBA game. Are these guys today actually willing to put their body out there and attempt to draw a charge or commit a hard foul? I mean, assuming they're not taking the day off. As for the fun they were having with how European basketball players were being described during those games, there's no discussion of the fact that the characterization of Euros being soft was absolutely true. there are always exceptions, but the fact of the matter is that European basketball was vastly different then NBA basketball was back then. There's a reason the league was not regularly bringing in Euros at the time. that is one reason the Dream Team is so revered. It inspired players in all of those other countries to up their game and become more like NBA players. This is the problem I have when these guys start getting a little political and social justice-y. They will invariably titter over how we couldn't say this or do that today like we did back then, but they will completely skip over whether those things that were said or done we're true or right. And usually they were not only the best that could be put forth given the information available, but WERE often accurate and true.

Apr 15th
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Aaron Hartje

These guys still can't resist showing how completely f****** ignorant they are when it comes to discussing politics. The show had been going so well.

Apr 11th
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Aaron Hartje

I won't argue that the basketball today isn't better than it was a few decades ago. But Russillo seems to link that with all the "more exciting storylines" there are today. No. We actually enjoyed the on the court product back then. They need exciting storylines today because the product on the court is almost unwatchable and the success of the entire league hinges on Chinese money and one aging player.

Apr 6th
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Aaron Hartje

Russillo: "This doesn't have anything to do with politics." Proceeds to insert politics into his next couple of statements. Great work. 🤣

Apr 6th
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xavier higgins

I figured this would be a prime opportunity to bless us with a few more chapters of the Book of Basketball.

Mar 30th
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Aaron Hartje

They are correct that not every foul back in the day was a decapitation. But back then there WAS the RISK of decapitation that does not exist today. While I believe that in some ways the defense of that past era is exaggerated, I can't say definitively that the soft players we have today would be willing to continue to challenge some of the players in those defenses. And James Harden is not going to be allowed to shoot uncontested threes either. There's going to be one hand on him and one in his face - not some imaginary 5-foot halo around him which, if you enter it, you're immediately going to be called for a foul.

Mar 23rd
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Aaron Hartje

Jerry Rice had more than 3,200 yards receiving and a Super Bowl appearance in his first three seasons at Oakland. Any other great examples of it not working out for a guy leaving his team, guys?

Mar 23rd
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Aaron Hartje

The nostalgia games were great. But, what were the ratings? I had absolutely no idea they were even showing these nostalgia games. THAT'S what the ratings were. I know it's tempting to think that what happened in the last day or so is going to completely change the approach of a network like ESPN, which is horrible, but not all of us are sports columnists and podcasters.

Mar 23rd
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Adrian H

Bill caping so hard for the mega rich. it's getting worse lately. super obvious.

Mar 20th
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